Islamic Countries Call for Unity Against Trump's Jerusalem Move

Musa Habes Musa Maaytah, Jordan’s Political and Parliamentary Affairs Minister and also its State Minister and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday (07/12). (JG Photo/Sheany)

By : Sheany | on 1:18 PM December 08, 2017
Category : News, Foreign Affairs

Tangerang. Member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, including Indonesia, Jordan and Qatar, have expressed the need for unity among Arab and Muslim countries against the unilateral decision taken by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We will work together with other Arabic and Muslim countries to change this [decision]… to start a real peace process which takes into consideration a two-state solution," Musa Habes Musa Maaytah, Jordan's Political and Parliamentary Affairs Minister and also its State Minister, said on the sidelines of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday (07/12).

The OIC is set to hold an extraordinary summit on this issue to be attended by the leaders of its member states on Dec. 12-13 in Istanbul, Turkey.

"I would like to reiterate that there is a need for unity, especially among Muslim countries, to send a very strong message against the decision taken by the United States," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said in his rebuke of US President Donald Trump's announcement that Indonesia will consider further steps to try to reverse the decision after the meeting in Istanbul, which he plans to attend.

The president said he will also call Trump after the meeting.

Founded in 1969, OIC has 57 member countries, including Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

The organization also issued a statement expressing its "deep regret" over the formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and said it "rejected the decision as a violation of the political, legal and historical status of the city of Jerusalem" and "a clear defiance of international laws and resolutions."

Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, referred to Trump’s decision as a "provocative action."

"This will really affect the peace process in the Middle East, and I hope we come out from the [OIC meeting] with a strong statement against this," Al-Muraikhi said.

He added that in his bilateral meeting with Retno, they discussed "how we can really exercise some pressures and try to get a united position with the Arab and Muslim world."

He also said that member countries of the OIC are working to convince other countries not to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Australia and Canada announced on Thursday that they will not relocate their embassies in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

But according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu many countries will follow the US plan to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

Milos Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic, has announced the country will move its mission office in Israel to Jerusalem.

In spite of overwhelming global condemnation over Trump's Jerusalem move, the OIC recommended that declarations of support for Palestine need to be followed by concrete actions — little to be seen among international community in recent years.

The shift in focus from the issue of Palestinian independence has been multi-layered, owing to shifts in foreign policy priorities of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and also due to the rise of extremism and terrorism across the globe.

"We don’t want this issue to transfer from national and political problem to a religion problem. We don’t want to push more people to become extremists in the region, because Jerusalem is very important, very holy for all Muslims all over the world," Jordan's State Minister Maaytah said.

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